A half dozen far-right election deniers will soon occupy a congressional committee that seeks to impeach President Joe Biden. And Speaker Kevin McCarthy is pulling its strings.
A man who will soon sit on the House science and economics committees should really not be lacking in expertise: George Santos studied at the renowned Baruch College, worked at top Wall Street banks and founded his own company that earns him up to $5 million yearly in dividends — at least that’s what is written in the resume that this Republican used last fall to run for Congress in New York.
Now, the 34-year-old is sitting in the House of Representatives. However, it is clear: His biography is completely fabricated. Santos has no high school diploma, he worked at a fraudulent Ponzi scheme, and his own company made $50,000 at most in revenue. Santos may have also broken the law with a dubious $700,000 money transfer to his own campaign.
However, this isn’t stopping Kevin McCarthy, the new speaker of the House, from assigning this brash con man to the aforementioned committees. This series of events illustrates McCarthy’s weakness, a man who wasn’t elected Republican speaker until the 15th round of voting and who possesses only a razor-thin majority of four votes in the legislature.
This makes the opportunistic Trumpians dependent not only on frauds like Santos. With the current allotment of committee appointments, McCarthy must above all reward those members of the far right in his party who helped him into office after a humiliating weeklong voting marathon.
A Threat to Biden
This is how at least six Republicans who dispute the result of the 2020 election will soon be on the Oversight and Accountability Committee, which supervises the government’s work. This includes extremists like Lauren Boebert, who often makes racist comments and had her entire family pose with rapid-fire rifles in front of a Christmas tree, or Paul Gosar, who had an anime version of himself murder left-leaning Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in a video.
The Oversight Committee will investigate the president’s family as its foremost priority. “Joe Biden, be prepared,” Marjorie Taylor Greene tweeted. “We are going to uncover every corrupt business dealing, every foreign entanglement, every abuse of power, and every check cut for The Big Guy.”
Greene is also on the Oversight Committee and could become a key figure of the far right. Because of her sympathies with the extremist QAnon conspiracy ideology and her support of the violent attacks on Democrats, she was thrown off the Budget Committee in 2021. Now, in addition to the Oversight Committee, she will sit on the Committee on Homeland Security, which seeks to make a scandal of the immigration crisis and fire Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas.
Unlike 20 colleagues who voted against McCarthy in the numerous rounds of voting, Greene sided with the new speaker in time and supported him. After previously claiming that mass shootings are staged by left-leaning gun control activists and forest fires in California were started by Jewish conspirators with a space laser, the 48-year-old has since held back with the conspiracy lies. She seems to be growing into a confident representative of the far right at McCarthy’s side with ever more exorbitant attacks on Democrats and Biden.
The nominations for the committees must still be formally confirmed by the Republican Party, but they are as good as guaranteed. Which representatives McCarthy will name to the important Committee on Rules, which in creating the daily agenda decides which initiatives will even come to a vote, will be watched with anticipation. The speaker has promised at least three seats to the far right.
Conversely, McCarthy is blocking the nominations of prominent Democratic representatives to important committees. That’s why prominent Trump prosecutor Rep. Eric Swalwell will likely not return to the Intelligence Committee and Israel critic Ilhan Omar to the Committee on Foreign Affairs. This intervention, which McCarthy is capable of thanks to veto power, is considered tit-for-tat for the exclusion of far-right extremists Greene and Gosar in the previous legislative term.